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Habits: Out with the old and in with the new!

I’m talking habits this week – what they are and how can we make it easier to change old habits that we want to release while at the same time, creating or maintaining the good habits that will serve us; that will help us to thrive and achieve ultimate success.

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because in the past, I struggled to make changes which led to me slipping into a terrible funk. My zest for life faded and a huge part of that was stress, lack of clarity and the fact that I didn’t realize I was an empath.

Wait, what’s an empath?

Well, let me ask you…

  • Has anyone told you that you were too sensitive? too emotional?
  • Do you feel drained when you spend time around certain people or environments?
  • When a friend or staff member is feeling stressed or unhappy, do you find yourself feeling these same emotions?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are likely an empath.

See, empaths are highly sensitive individuals who have this keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling.

I remember being at functions and finding it hard to focus on the present because I was consumed about what was happening around me. The person hiding in the back, the heated conversation two groups over, the barrel of laughter from the other direction… it’s enough to drive you mad if you’re not careful.

To give you a personal story, when I was working in corporate, as I was hitting rock bottom, I was coming home completely drained. It felt like the life and energy had been sucked out of me, and no matter how positive I was, I couldn’t get out of it.

Every day, I was hoping that it would be different, but it just got harder. I became overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions, and I pretty much checked out because I just didn’t have the energy or the mindset to keep going.

As someone who had achieved tremendous success all her life, and was on the path to a promotion, I just didn’t get it.

I really had it all, but I was feeling exhausted. It took all my energy and mental strength just to get through the day, and then when I got home I just ate or zoned out to the tele on most days.

I bailed on the gym, I bailed on plans, I just wanted to be alone so I could recharge.

That’s what happens when you don’t manage your emotions, especially when you’re an empath.

The science behind habits

You guys know I love my science, so let’s get into it.

Habits are a simple form of learning, and there are actually 3 types of habits, which I’ll get into momentarily.

Habits can be good or bad.

The good habits: things like exercising regularly, eating for energy, journaling, meal planning, meditation, yoga, reading…

The bad habits: things like alcoholism, drug addiction, lethargy, procrastination, stealing, dishonesty, telling lies, negative self-talk…

Now, let’s take a step back and see how they’re formed.

Habit formation in the physiological sense is related to our nervous system.

When you do something over and over, your nerves form a connection that leads to a pathway which can make it go from a sensory response to a motor response (like auto-pilot).

The more this is repeated with the same stimulus, the stronger the nerve connection. Think Pavlov Theory, classic conditioning.

Your nervous system, your whole body is learning from you all the time – it’s truly amazing.

3 types of habits

As I mentioned, there are 3 types of habits – Motor, Intellectual and Character:

Motor Habits are muscular activities like walking, standing, running, maintaining your posture. These are things that you learn in early development.

Intellectual Habits are things like good observation, accurate perception, logical thinking… they’re psychological processes that require intellect.

Character Habits are formed using our emotions and feelings, how we express ourselves. For example, helping others in need, trusting people, being honest, talking in a friendly manner, time management, emotional intelligence. Because these habits are formed using emotions and feelings, they can also be referred to as Emotional Habits.

How we can make it easier?

Now that we know what habits are and how they’re formed, how can we now make it easier to create new habits?

Make a good start

Be committed from the get go. Don’t start something half-a$$ed – If you don’t know why you’re doing it, then don’t bother. Sounds harsh, but it is what it is.

If you want to lose weight but can’t seem to stop eating at night – WHY? is it boredom? temptation? What else can you do instead? Really get curious so you can get to the root cause.

Set healthy boundaries

This is for you if you have a hard time saying ‘no’, which I used to. You will feel drained when you overcommit or spend time with negative people…

… and if you are in people management or coaching, some capacity where you are helping others, I know you love what you do, but control how much time you spend listening to stressful people. I have a coach and many mentors for this very reason, because if I don’t put my oxygen mask on first, then I can’t be at my best self.

Practice everyday

Become obsessed if you need to. Don’t postpone or wait for things to get better. Remember, the only thing you can control is you! You can’t control circumstance, you can’t control people, you can only control your thoughts, feelings, behaviours, reactions, etc… which is extremely powerful.

The more you practice, the easier it gets, I promise.

Look at your environment

How do you feel at home? in the workplace? in your car?

I used to have so much crap around the house, trinkets and things… stuff that I didn’t need. I remember coming home and feeling insta-stress if it was a disaster versus calm and peaceful when it was clean and tidy. While I was schooling part time, earning my MBA and CPA while working full time in wealth management, let’s just say time was valuable. So I hired a housekeeper … I can’t go back. It’s one of my dealbreakers, because it makes me feel sooo amazing coming home to a clean, organized and tidy home.

I’m not saying get a housekeeper, but if it will help take the load off, and you can budget for it, why not?!

Make friends with your inner critic

I did a post about this recently. When your inner voice is critical, it’s like having the worst possible coach in the world, especially as an empath.

Why do you feel so much all the time? You’re too sensitive! What’s wrong with you?

Believe it or not I used to talk to myself in this way, because I just wanted to feel better. Looking back, I have no idea how speaking to myself in this way was helpful.

Practice mindfulness and self compassion

Life is too short my friends. We need to be kinder to ourselves, more supporting and accepting of all the amazing things we do and who we are deep down at our core.

You won’t be successful if you are not mindful (not mind full, but mindful – present, calm, focused). Love yourself as you love your mom, sister, or child.

Listen to your mind, body and soul and acknowledge and notice your suffering. Be kind and caring in response to it, and remember it’s never about the destination, but the journey, so this won’t feeling won’t last forever.

Use plant-healing power

Making the move to a predominantly plant-based lifestyle and changing my relationship with food has been life-changing for me.

Putting nutritious and wholesome food in my body for energy, and using essential oils to help balance healthy emotions, and well, removing as much toxins from my body, house, and lifestyle has transformed my overall wellness, and it’s what I enjoy helping others do.

Get moving and get outside

My last and final thought – move your body. It’s so easy to say ‘later’ or ‘I’m too tired’, trust me, I’ve been there.

Commit to doing one thing and start small. 10 minutes a day, first thing in the morning – do some planks, pushups, tricep dips… anything that you can do in that time, at home, and use your kids if you have to.

I had one client use her baby to do arm raises, side twists, and squats… fun for the whole family! It gets the blood flowing, the heart pumping, and happy hormones releasing so you set yourself up for success from the get go.

If you want to catch the live training, click on the button below, or contact me to chat further to see how I can help you overcome unhealthy habits that are keeping you stuck, getting you on track to live a toxic free lifestyle.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Natalia Edelmann

Natalia is the Legend Activator. She is the Founder of Wellness for Wealth, LUXE Club Retreats, and LCR Consultancy, which offers private lifestyle and business consulting, world-class retreats, and wellness experiences.

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